Setting for The Goodmans

Setting is important to me. If I’m to spend several months mentally in a place it has to be compelling and somewhere I want to immerse myself. I also need to be very familiar with an area and its people to get the nuances of a setting right – architecture, cultural mix, cuisine, the ebb and flow of the town and land over the day.

Like the setting of my last book, Poppy Jenkins, the story of The Goodmans takes place somewhere from my childhood.

I adore the old market towns of the Welsh borders – Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Ledbury – with their medieval twisted timber buildings and Georgian grandeur. None were quite perfect for the setting of The Goodmans, and I blended several together to make the fictional Ludbury of the family’s residence. It most closely resembles Ludlow, however, the main difference being the church and its grounds in the book in place of the castle next to the market square.

Here are a few locations in a characterful town for a characterful family:

One of the broad Georgian avenues leading up to the square (old Assembly Rooms at the top).
The castle and grounds replaced in the book by the church and courtyard

A medieval alley way and location for The Cheese Shop (actually The Mouse Trap in Ludlow).
Medieval open-sided arcade (Maggie and Juliette saunter beneath this).
St Lawrences
Medieval street
The square and market
Town walls and Georgian houses
Castle (church) walls near Maggie’s house.
Castle (replaced by the church in the book) from the river

Town house – Abby’s surgery
Old town wall gate and route to Abby’s house
Inspiration for Abby’s cottage

4 thoughts on “Setting for The Goodmans”

  1. What a wonderful town it is. I love old houses, and did even as a child. There was a fake-Tudor house we passed sometimes in Dublin that I always stared at in awe. And we lived in a tall Georgian house (split into flats) in the old Dublin suburb of Ranelagh when I was very young.

    I look forward to checking out the new book at some point 😉

  2. Thank you for sharing. History was the first word that came to mind when I thought about the setting in The Goodmans. Historical connections exist in every part of the story especially the emotions. Being from America, in particular the Windy City, your photos gave me a different historical and visual perspective in which to view the characters. Now, there’s only one thing for me to do—reread the book. 😊

  3. Ledbury! *flailing* I loved that little town when we visited… uhh… a long time ago (in 2007). Our main destination was Westons Cider Mill, but that town – oh, it was so nice. And that nailed it; I have to buy and read The Goodmans now!

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